Glen Alan Ruzicka, 61, director of conservation at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia, died Sunday, Nov. 21, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital from head injuries sustained in a fall at his home in Kimberton.
Over 22 years, first as chief conservator, then as director of conservation at CCAHA, Mr. Ruzicka consulted with hundreds of organizations on conservation treatments and preservation planning.
He worked with the Free Library of Philadelphia; the University of Pennsylvania; the libraries at Harvard University; the Academy of Natural Sciences; and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He also supervised conservation treatments for nearly two dozen projects funded by the national Save America's Treasures program.
Mr. Ruzicka wrote the standards and specifications for the new rare book room at the Pennsylvania State Library and served on the oversight committee for the room's renovation.
He was coordinator of collection-care services for more than 20 historic sites, museums, and libraries through a CCAHA contract with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. He also supervised the treatment for all the paper-based artifacts at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and oversaw the move of the contents of the Civil War Museum in Philadelphia to Gettysburg National Park.
Mr. Ruzicka was about to begin a new position, developing archival-education programs at the National Archives and Records Administration, in College Park, Md.
At a farewell party for Mr. Ruzicka several weeks ago, the CCAHA's executive director, Ingrid Bogel, said: "Glen has set the bar high. ... He made sure that nothing left the center that didn't meet his standards for excellence. I know this is a key reason that CCAHA has developed a stellar reputation locally, regionally, and nationally.
"Glen, the person, has also brought so much to the center," Bogel said. "His patience, his unflappability, his 'solidness' during adversity . . . his loyalty, his entrepreneurial spirit, his unwavering dedication to excellence, and his friendship have meant so much to all of us at the center."
Before taking the position at CCAHA, Mr. Ruzicka served as head of the preservation department at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University from 1986 to 1988, and he was senior book conservator at the Library of Congress in Washington, where he began his career in 1976.
He was the author of numerous articles in professional journals and lectured and conducted workshops across the country. He was a mentor to many interns and others just starting in conservation, said his wife, Molly Clark Ruzicka.
He was a professional associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and former chair of its book and paper group. He served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Preservation Consortium, the Girard College Historic Resources Committee, and Kimberton Waldorf School.
"He was a consummate reader, liberally shifting his attention to Goethe, or comic books, and anything in between," his wife said. In his high school yearbook, Mr. Ruzicka called Bob Dylan his "Crown Prince," and he remained a dedicated fan throughout his life, she said. He was also a film enthusiast and had a number of hobbies, including chess, fly fishing, and perfecting recipes on his Big Green Egg grill.
Mr. Ruzicka grew up in Towson, Md. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Emory University, where he met his future wife.
In addition to his wife of 34 years, Mr. Ruzicka is survived by a son, Thaddeus Glen; his father, Donald; a sister; and brother.
A memorial celebration will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia.